Jive

Jive is a dance style in 4/4 time that originated among African-Americans in the early 1940s. It is a lively and uninhibited variation of the Jitterbug, a form of Swing dance.

In Ballroom dancing, Jive is one of the five International Latin dances. In competition it is danced at a speed of 44 bars per minute, although in other cases this is reduced to between 32 and 40 bars per minute.  Many of its basic patterns are similar to these of the East Coast Swing with the major difference of highly syncopated rhythm of the Triple Steps (Chasses), which use straight eighths in ECS and hard swing in Jive.

Swing Dance
The term "swing dance" commonly refers to a group of dances that developed concurrently with the swing style of jazz music in the 1920s, '30s and '40s, although the earliest of these dance forms predate swing jazz music. The best known of these dances is the Lindy Hop, a popular partner dance that originated in Harlem and is still danced today. While the majority of swing dances began in African American communities as vernacular African American dances, a number of forms (Balboa, for example) developed within Anglo-American or other ethnic group communities.

The earliest forms of swing dance, such as the Black Bottom, charleston and tap dance, are associated with Dixieland jazz, which developed in New Orleans in the south of the United States. These sorts of dances traveled north with jazz to cities like New York, Kansas City, and Chicago in the Great Migration that began in the 1920s, where rural blacks traveled north to escape persecution, Jim Crow laws, lynching and, later, high unemployment in the South during the Great Depression.

Swing jazz features the syncopated timing associated with African American and West African music and dance — a combination of crotchets and quavers (quarter notes and eighth notes) that many swing dancers interpret as 'triple steps' and 'steps' — yet also introduces changes in the way these rhythms were played — a distinct delay or 'relaxed' approach to timing.

Today there are swing dance scenes in many developed countries throughout the world. Lindy Hop is often the most popular, though each city and country varies preferences various dances in different degrees. Each local swing dance community has a distinct local culture and defines "swing dance" and the "appropriate" music to accompany it in different ways.

Forms of Swing
In many scenes outside the United States the term "Swing dancing" is used to refer generically to one or all of the following swing era dances: Lindy Hop, Charleston, Shag, Balboa and Blues. This group is often extended to include West Coast Swing, East Coast Swing, Hand Dancing, Jive, Rock and Roll, Modern Jive, and other dances developing in the 1940s and later. A strong tradition of social and competitive boogie woogie and acrobatic rock and roll in Europe add these dances to their local swing dance cultures. In Singapore and other scenes, Latin dances such as salsa and Tango are often taught and danced within the "Swing scene", and for many scenes tap dancing and a range of other jazz dances are considered key, as are hip hop and other contemporary African American street dances. The variations continue, dictated by local dance community interests.

Many swing dancers today argue that it is important to dance many styles of partner dance to improve technique, but also to reflect the historical relationship between these dances in the swing era of the 1920s and 1930s. In the Savoy Ballroom, for example, bands would often play waltzes, Latin songs and so on, as well as swinging jazz. Dancers were often familiar with a wide range of popular and traditional dances.

Early forms from the 1930s and 1940s
Lindy Hop evolved in the late 1920s and early 1930s out of Partnered Charleston. It is characterized by an 8-count break away or "swing out" and has an emphasis on improvisation and the ability to easily adapt to include other steps in 8-count and 6-count rhythms. It has been danced to almost every conceivable style of music with blues or jazz rhythm (with the exception of jazz waltzes), as well as non-traditional styles of music such as hip hop.

Balboa is an 8-count dance that emphasizes a strong partner connection and quick footwork. A product of Southern California's crowded ballrooms, Balboa (or "Bal") is primarily danced in close embrace. A library of open figures, called Bal-Swing, evolved from LA Swing, another Southern California dance that was a contemporary of Balboa. While most dancers differentiate between pure Balboa and Bal-Swing, both are considered to be part of the dance. Balboa is frequently danced to fast jazz (usually anything from 180 to 320 beats per minute), though many like to Balboa to slower tempos.

Collegiate Shag was danced in the early thirties to dance music that emphasized a 2-beat rhythm, and was danced in the varieties of single, double, and triple shag. The variety of names describe the amount of slow (step, hop) steps executed before being followed by a single quick, quick rhythm. The most common form recognized as Collegiate Shag is double shag rhythm.

St. Louis Shag done in the "side-by-side" Charleston position. The steps are: rock step, kick forward, step down, kick forward (other leg), stag, step, stomp (repeat). The "stag" is bringing the leg up with the knee bent. As a variation, when repeating, one can do two forward kicks (or "switch, switch", referring to switching feet) in place of the rock step.

Jitterbug dancers in 1938
Jitterbug is often associated with one form of swing dance, but is in fact a general term for all swing dances and is more appropriately used to describe a swing dancer rather than a specific swing dance (i.e. a jitterbug can dance Lindy Hop, Shag, or another swing dance). The term was famously associated with swing era dancers by band leader Cab Calloway because, as he put it, "They look like a bunch of jitterbugs out there on the floor" due to their fast, often bouncy movements.

Later forms from the 1940s, 50s and later
Lindy Hop continued into the 40's and 50's and is featured in many movies of the era featuring Whitey's Lindy Hoppers with Frankie Manning, Dean Collins (whose style would lead to the creation of West Coast Swing), and Hal Takier and the Ray Rand Dancers.
Boogie-woogie developed originally in the 1940s with the rise of boogie woogie music. It is popular today in Europe, and was considered by some to be the European counterpart to East Coast Swing, a Six count dance standardized for the American ballroom industry. It is danced to rock music of various kinds, blues or boogie woogie music but usually not to jazz. As the dance has developed it has also taken to 8-count variations and swing outs similar to Lindy Hop, while keeping the original boogie woogie footwork.
Eastern Swing is an evolution of Fox Trot and the precursor to the more modern East Coast Swing.

East Coast Swing is a simpler 6-count variation. It is also known as Single-Time Swing, Triple-Step Swing, 6-Count Swing, or Rock-a-billy. East Coast Swing has very simple structure and footwork along with basic moves and styling. It is popular for its simple nature, and it is often danced to slow, medium, or fast tempo jazz, blues, or rock and roll.

Imperial Swing is a cross between East Coast and West coast as it is done in slot and in the round. It started at the Club Imperial in St Louis. George Edick, who owned the club, let teenagers dance on the lower level and the swing dancers of the time taught them what was learned from their trips to the east coast. As people traveled around they added parts of west coast,bop and Carolina shag to complement the dance and make it distinctive. People can tell the difference between St Louis dancers and dancers from other parts of the country. "The Imperial" has elements of "East Coast", West Coast", "Carolina Shag", and "Bop".

Carolina Shag originated along the strands between Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Wilmington, North Carolina, during the 1940s. It is most often associated with beach music, which refers to songs that are rhythm and blues based and, according to Bo Bryan, a noted shag historian and resident of Beaufort County, is a term that was coined at Carolina Beach, North Carolina.

Washington Hand Dancing originated in the Washington, D.C., Area in the mid-1950s as D.C.’s own version of swing dancing. From its very beginning, D.C. Hand-dance was referred to and called “D.C. Hand-Dance/Hand-Dancing”, “D.C. Swing”, “D.C. Style” (swing) and “fast dance” (meaning D.C. Hand-Dance). This is the first time a version of “swing” dance was termed “hand-dance/hand-dancing”. D.C. Hand-Dance is characterized by very smooth footwork and movements, and close-in and intricate hand-turns, danced to a 6-beat, 6 to 8 count dance rhythm. The footwork consists of smooth and continuous floor contact, sliding and gliding-type steps (versus hopping and jumping-type steps), and there are no aerials.

Jive is a dance of International Style Ballroom dancing. It initially was based on Eastern swing brought to England by Americans Troops in World War II and evolved before becoming the now standardized form of today.

Push and Whip are Texas forms of swing dance.  Western Swing, also called Country Swing or Country/Western Swing (C/W Swing) is a form with a distinct culture. It resembles East Coast Swing, but adds variations from other country dances. It is danced to country and western music.  Skip Jive A British variant, popular in the 50s and 60s danced to trad jazz.

West Coast Swing was developed in the 1950s as a stylistic variation on Lindy Hop. It is a slotted dance which is danced to a wide variety of music including: blues, rock and roll, country western, smooth and cool jazz. It is popular throughout the United States and Canada but is uncommon in Europe and much of Asia. West coast swing communities are developing in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Rock and Roll - Developing in the 1950s in response to rock and roll music, rock and roll is very popular in Australia and danced socially as well as competitively and in performances. The style has a long association with Lindy Hop in that country, as many of the earliest lindy hoppers in the early 1990s moved to Lindy Hop from a rock and roll tradition. There are ongoing debates about whether rock and roll constitutes swing dancing, particularly in reference to the music to which it is danced: there is some debate as to whether or not it swings. Despite these discussions, many of the older lindy hoppers are also keen rock and roll dancers, with rock and roll characterised by an older dancer (30s and older) than Lindy Hop (25 and under).

Acrobatic Rock and Roll Popular in Europe, acrobatic rock and roll is popularly associated with Russian gymnasts who took up the dance, though it is popular throughout Europe today. It is more a performance dance and sport than a social dance.

Modern Jive - also known as LeRoc and Ceroc - developed in the 1980s, reputedly from a French form of Jive.

Blues Dancing today is an informal type of dance with no fixed patterns and a heavy focus on connection, sensuality and improvisation, often with strong body contact. Although usually done to blues music, it can be done to any slow tempo 4/4 music, including rock ballads and "club" music. "Blues dancing" is popular in many swing dance communities.

Related Classes: Latin Cha Cha, Latin Samba, Salsa, Latin Rumba, Paso Doble, West Coast Swing, Modern Jive
See All Latin Ballroom Classes . See All Dance Classes . See Dance Classes by Price

Latest Happenings!

Follow us on Facebook for the latest updates and news!

 

Find Us On...

Facebook Actfa Dance School Singapore Google+ Actfa Dance School Singapore Twitter Actfa Dance School Singapore Youtube Actfa Dance School SingaporeLinkedIN Actfa Dance School Singapore

Login With Facebook

Testimonials

Starlinn Actfa DanceSTARLINN CHOO YANQING joined the SFDF program in 2004 while studying in NUS, training 12 hours a day; she completed her SFDF, Diploma & IHDC courses in 3 years, using her teaching income to finance her classes in Diploma & IHDC. In 2008 she pursued her IMDC Dance Business & is now doing her 3 years IPHDC Dance Product Research. While pursuing her IHDC she was already traveling around the world for assignments. more


Bianca Actfa DanceBIANCA enrolled in the SFDF course after A-levels. Within 6 months she was dancing as a backup dancer for MTV. She has also traveled to many countries like Germany, UK, Taiwan & Hong Kong to teach & perform, & was offered a position to dance in a few Musical plays. 


 Libin Actfa DanceLB, a masters degree holder working for a MNC, decided to do a career switch after he completed his SFDF. He then worked as an International Sales Manager in dance products, an international artist & dance instructor. He is the Singapore Bachata Champion 2008 and the 1st runner up in the Asia Salsa Championship behind Serge and Polina from Russia in 2010. more


manfred Actfa DanceMANGGOH was one of the elite few selected for the Mediacorp Dance Academy in 2000. He graduated from NTU with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and used to work as a Project Manager in the IT Industry. He passed his examination & evaluation for SFDF and is currently doing his Diploma & IHDC. more


maricel Actfa DanceMARICEL, a professional dancer from the Philippines, joined SFDF in 2009. In less than a year, she has performed at the Esplanade Da:ns Festival 2009, Salsa Cruise Asia 2009, & has also been to China to teach & perform. In 2010 she was offered a full time dance instructor job in Singapore. She has since gone on to set up a dance studio in the Philippines and comes back periodically to upgrade her skills.


rachel Actfa DanceRACHEL an undergraduate in NTU joined the SFDF in 2010 and was offered to open a dance studio in China.  She has taught and performed in Guang Zhou, Shen Zhen, Hong Kong, Singapore.


 derrick actfa danceDERRICK has over 20 years of dance instructor experience with more than 30 types of dance. He was granted an exemption from SFDF after taking an examination & evaluation and signed up for the diploma & IHDC simultaneously.


tamil actfa danceTAMIL, a professional dancer & teacher actively involved in competitions & performances for Hip Hop, Bollywood, Indian Dance. He was teaching dance in secondary school and choreographing for SYF. He joined the IHDC program to further his training as a dancer & teacher in 2009.  Since joining the IHDC, he has taught, performed & competed in Hong Kong, China, Taiwan.


brenda actfa danceBRENDA joined the SFDF when she was 13 years old and was hired to teach and perform both locally and overseas after 6 months. She was also financing her own dance study while teaching private dance classes.  Under the SFDF, she was the 1st runner up in the Asia Salsa Championship 2010 and Singapore Bachata Champion 2009.  She was given opportunities to teach in Malaysia, Hong Kong, China.

Follow Actfa Dance

Partner Dances Actfa Singapore

Facebook Actfa Dance School Singapore Google+ Actfa Dance School Singapore Twitter Actfa Dance School Singapore Youtube Actfa Dance School SingaporeLinkedIN Actfa Dance School Singapore

Login With Facebook
We have 18 guests online

Contact Details

Actfa School of Dance & Performing Arts
Tel:  +65 6225 0150                        Location:  Map
Email:  i@actfa.com                      Inquiries:  Ask Us
47A Chander Road, Singapore 219546
(3min from Little India MRT, exit E
Parking at Grand Imperial Hotel)